Need for suicide prevention training

Tim EdmundsAlbany Advertiser

Albany and the Great Southern have a growing demand for increased training in suicide prevention, according to health professionals who attended the first workshop of its kind last week.

Up to 70 GPs, psychologists, nurses, counsellors and social workers attended the Advanced Training in Suicide Prevention workshop, aimed at improving their knowledge and confidence in dealing with suicide-related cases.

Facilitated by Black Dog Institute consultant Dr Genevieve Yates and hosted by Palmerston Great Southern Community Alcohol and Drug Service the workshop is expected to pave the way for more focused training opportunities in the coming months.

Palmerston suicide prevention co-ordinator Rahul Sharma Bhoyroo said the attendance at the workshop exceeded expectations, highlighting a need for more training. “It indicates we do need such training and they are all health professionals so they have seen or encountered clients or patients as such, and it has built their own resilience and capacity to deal with such situations so that is really good,” he said.

“No matter how much training you get there may still be cases you won’t be able to identify such behaviours and traits.

“The main thing was listening and talking to them that is really good and asking them up front ‘are you having any of those thoughts, have you tried anything?’ So that is really helpful.”

Mr Bhoyroo said a suicide prevention advisory group had already been formed and a regional suicide prevention plan was in the process of being developed.

He said effective suicide prevention relied on service providers working together.

Workshop facilitator and Black Dog Institute consultant Dr Genevieve Yates said the first workshop of its kind in Albany showed the region was proactive in tackling the issue.

“One of the advantages of doing workshops like we did was getting together different health professionals so they can get to know each other and get to know the services,” she said.

“Once of the barriers is services don’t necessarily talk to each other well and not everyone knows what is out there and available so the more of it we can promote, first to the general public about where to go to get help but also help professionals so they can appropriately refer when people come to see them.”

Get the latest news from in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails